It’s June. The sixth month. The halfway point. How’s the year going? Good? Okay? Off the rails? It’s the perfect time to check in with yourself about food and body issues — what’s working for you, what isn’t, what deserves more time, and what doesn’t deserve another second.
Has a well-intentioned effort to “eat healthy” this year somehow descended into crash diets and disastrous binges? Maybe it’s time to stop blaming your self-control and start considering a new theory: Diets cause binge eating, and they cannot cure it. Secondary theory: Too many “healthy eating” strategies are really just the same old diets hidden behind a veneer of “wellness.”
Does the very thought of wearing a swimsuit send you into a self-loathing, self-flagellating, self-destructive panic because you haven’t met your goals? It may be time to work on accepting the body you live in, not the one you long for. Maybe you’ve dedicated enough of your life to chasing this elusive notion of a “perfect” body, and the one you have is already worthy. Maybe you work towards seeing your body as beautiful — that’s body positivity. Or maybe you work towards accepting that your body is what it is, and for better and for worse it does not define your existence — that’s body neutrality. Body acceptance of any kind makes every day more livable, and makes you less susceptible to the diet world looking to manipulate your thoughts and torture your body into something it was never meant to be.
Do you get the spring cleaning itch? That sudden impulse to dig into your closets and ditch the stuff that is not longer useful? Perfect. Embrace that, and apply it inward. Dig into your psyche, and ditch the diet mentality. It isn’t useful. It isn’t serving you. It’s only driving you deeper into diet culture, an industry that identifies insecurities in order to profit from them.
There’s a reason I’m asking all these questions.
In six months, this could all be a distant memory. The calculating, the counting, the curse of insatiable hunger. You could concentrate on work and school, without obsessive food thoughts clouding your mind. You could enjoy a kid’s birthday party without panicking about the cake. You could cruise through the holidays celebrating a newfound freedom around food.
And when New Year’s resolution season rolls around, the time of year that diet marketers spend MONTHS charting out how best to profit off of you, you won’t be vulnerable to their messages about finally feeling in control of your eating. Because you’ll wake up one day and you will realize that you already are.
Diets hold you hostage. Binge eating perpetuates the diet cycle. A six-month reset sets you free.